Actor Keanu Reeves’ Reaction to Fungus-Killing Bacteria Named After Him
Actor Keanu Reeves has long been a beloved icon in Hollywood, known for his compelling performances on screen and his reputation as a kind and humble person off-screen.
Recently, the actor was surprised by the news that a newly discovered species of bacteria had been named after him.
After finding a potent compound that effectively eliminates fungi, German scientists honored the actor by naming it “keanumycins.”
“The lipopeptides kill so effectively that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he is also extremely deadly in his roles,” said Sebastian Götze.
He was the study’s co-author and researcher with Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 7, 2023
What Keanu Reeves Thinks about the Bacteria
The scientists found the new bacteria in soil samples they collected from the Malheur National Forest in Oregon. They named it “Pseudomonas keanuensis” in honor of Reeves.
The actor’s reputation for being a “humble and generous person” reportedly inspired the scientists who discovered the bacteria.
When Reeves received news of the honor, he reportedly expressed surprise and gratitude, saying he was “truly touched and honored” by the gesture.
It happened during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, where fans could ask him anything. They asked 58-year-old Reeves about Keanu, the fungus-killing substance named after him.
“Researchers from Germany discovered a compound naturally produced by some bacteria that’s so effective at killing fungi, and they named it after you: keanumycins. What are your thoughts about that?” the user asked.
Keanu Reeves responds after scientists name bacteria after him thanks to its effective killing methods https://t.co/DxGE1G1Hmw
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 6, 2023
“They should have called it John Wick… But that is pretty cool and surreal for me. Thanks, scientist people! Good luck with it, and thanks for helping us,” Reeves wrote in a response via the Lionsgate Reddit account.
He also expressed his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the scientists who discovered the bacteria and their commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and understanding.
More about the Fungus-Killing Bacteria
Scientists have proven Keanumycins, a lipopeptide molecule found in bacteria, to be effective against plant-fungal diseases and human-pathogenic fungi.
A study recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society suggests that these compounds could be an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides since they are biodegradable and harmless to plants.
In the study, researchers tested the keanumycins on a hydrangea plant infected with Botrytis cinerea. This plant pest causes gray mold rot and commonly affects fruits and vegetables, ultimately causing damage to harvests.
The bacteria inhibited the growth of the fungus, effectively treating the mold rot. The researchers also conducted tests on human-pathogenic fungi.
It includes Candida albicans and discovered that keanumycins effectively suppress the growth of these dangerous fungi while being safe for human use.
“We have a crisis in anti-infectives. More human-pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antimycotics (antifungals). It is partly because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields,” Götze explained.
According to the study, the bacteria named after Keanu Reeves may serve as excellent candidates for developing antifungal drugs.
These types of drugs are currently in high demand because of the scarcity of drugs for treating fungal infections. The researchers plan to conduct additional testing on keanumycins to explore their potential as antifungal agents.
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